I am Tribeless (Original Poem)

I want to explain this one first, because it needs a little explanation. If you are new to this blog, you may not know that I am adopted. Though of Native American descent, my adoptive status leaves me with no official tribal affiliation. As such, since my grandmother worked with multiple tribal peoples in her time, she has amassed quite the collection from multiple tribes as part of my legacy. 

Recently, I got into an argument with a friend who I assume thought I was being racist. it has seemingly ended our friendship. I could not get her to understand that I do not see a need to differentiate by race. Her response to me was that I basically had no right to even speak as I was not the race in question. But you see, very few recognize me as the race I am. I am truly tribeless, raceless, racially ambiguous, exotic. I lack definition and am therefor discriminated against by bigots of ALL races, even my own because I lack paperwork to prove my heritage. 

My intent was to write a poem in honor of Earth Day, and instead, my muse sent me this. It must have still been on my mind.  I hope it makes a difference to someone, perhaps someone like me, who thinks they are alone because they don’t quite fit in.

I am tribeless, and I embrace all tribes, all people, because of it.

Mixed Race and Complete

The waters have receded,
yet no rainbows have
come.
In their stead are the
songs of birds,
and the laughter of the
ancients on the wind.

I hear them call to me,
beckoning me to walk
among them.
From all Nations
the ancestors call to me,
for I am tribeless.

Orphaned,
marooned by the stars,
I walk along
and between
the paths of many Nations,
many tribes,
many cultures,
crossing barriers that most
refuse to cross
because of the color of their skin.

But not I,
for I am tribeless.

While you sit in your houses
of color and deference,
divided by the exterior,
I step out into the world,
meandering through all neighborhoods,
taking shortcuts through
side streets and alleyways lined with
weeds and trees and crawling things,
where the ancestors feed
my soul
with their memories.

I remember
through their eyes
a time when we were one.
One people,
undivided,
for we saw with our hearts
and knew our true selves.

There was a time
when we walked in the moonlight,
and felt no fear.
A time when we
heard the wisdom
of the ant
and the swan
and the deer
and even the coyote,
trickster though he is.

But we have forgotten ourselves,
lost our truth
put up walls of brick and mortar
and hate.

We have divided ourselves into
clans and gangs,
tribes and nations,
defining ourselves by things
as trivial
as color or birth place.

But the ancestors call to me,
and I remember.

They embrace me with their heart formed words,
in the guise of
laughs and sighs and remembrances
hidden in the wind,
for I,
like them,
am tribeless.

There are some who shame me,
shun me,
refuse my existence
for I have no tribe,
no label
no categorical definition
to call my own.

But I am tribeless,
and thus belong to all tribes
equally.

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